Out West Piano Fest

Over the 2022 October long weekend Bathurst will hum to a different sound. From Saturday 1 to Monday 3 October the sounds of piano will ring out over the landscape, with a program that is inspired by place, by culinary delights, by visual art, by collaborative passion for sharing the delight that music can achieve.

Out West Piano Fest is a new festival in a glorious regional setting of Blackdown Farm, just five minutes from the town centre. A location steeped in pastoral heritage and of a time long past, a place that echoes creative energy of art and culture that was once home to the Australian artist Tim Storrier. The multitude of gardens in full spring bloom will be the stunning, yet unassuming backdrop providing the stages for sumptuous food and wine events. The providores of the central west will come to the fore in a suite of gastronomic experiences over the weekend.

And the music, of course the wonderful music! In 2021 the young Italian/Slovenian pianist Alexander Gadjiev won the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition. Alexander’s heart lies deep within the music and he has modelled a luxurious series of concerts, each with its own theme, crafted with a sense of place, combining the raw elements of Blackdown Farm and the region into a masterfully manicured program.

Two of Australia’s leading proponents of the piano Tamara Anna Cislowska and Stephanie McCallum will join with Alexander Gadjiev and another a young artist with a glittering career ahead of him, Calvin Abdiel. Two concert grand pianos will take pride of place and together these pianists will breathe life into the program featuring the solo piano, illuminating pairs of duos and duets, intertwined trios and entertaining works for all four.

An inspirational weekend that celebrates the piano and superb artists, combined with sensory experiences that will arouse the heart, mind and spirit, awaits you this October.


Festival Artists

Alexander Gadjiev
Festival Director

Musical exposure and Central European culture: Alexander Gadjiev owes the first to his family, with both parents being piano teachers and musicians, and the second to Gorizia – his city of origin – a natural crossroads of peoples, cultures and languages.
Tamara-Anna Cislowska

Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most renowned, ARIA award-winning pianists, performing and recording in Australia and internationally to critical and public acclaim.
Stephanie McCallum

In a performing and recording career over four decades, Stephanie McCallum has become renowned for a pianistic practice based on refined control of sound, nuanced artistic instincts and fearless virtuosic control.
Calvin Abdiel

The youngest competitor of the 2021 competition at just 20 years old and competing against 31 other international musicians, Calvin won through the stages of the competition with expertise and skill beyond his years.

Ticket Packages

Out West Piano Fest is a three day immersive event of music, food and wine, visual art and the natural environment. Ticket packages are on sale now. 

Book Here

All concerts during the festival have unreserved seating, meaning you can choose where you would like to sit when doors open. However premium options are available with reserved seating within the first sixrows at the front and with the best view of the pianists. A Reserved Seat Package gives you a reserved seat in the room either piano side or centre. These options allow you maximum freedom to enjoy the full food and wine experiences and enter the performance space when it suits you, knowing that you have one of the best seats in the house reserved just for you.

  Price Premium Seating Reserved Seating 6 Concert 4 Food & Wine events
Premium Package Sold Out x x x x
Premium Concerts Sold Out x x x  
Reserved Seat Package $720   x x x
Reserved Seat Concerts Sold Out   x x  
General Package Sold Out     x x
General Concerts $300     x  

Book Here

Festival capacity is strictly limited and a package pass is your guarantee of being part of the inaugural Out West Piano Fest. 

In general, access to the performance space is on flat gravel paths. All food and wine events are held outside, therefore grounds may not be flat, may be uneven and some held on grass.

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Festival Program

Six concerts over the weekend will reflect Blackdown Farm, taking inspiration from the heritage of the homestead and rich gardens, crafting them into a sublime mix of intuitive programming. The tapestry of the piano library will display the vast expanse of opportunities for imaginative and stimulating repertoire, ensuring audiences are welcomed and intrinsically connected in the musical journey from beginning to end.

Blackdown Farm has a captivating relationship with the visual arts, having been the home and studio of Australian artist Tim Storrier for many years. The festival’s performance space was once where brush connected with canvas with splattering of paint still adorning the floor. Over the festival weekend the walls of the studio will burst with visual energy in a partnership with the Bathurst Regional Arts Gallery. Works from six artists connected with the Central West will be hung, paired with the musical theme of each concert and establishing a richer context between place and the immersive sounds of each concert.

Saturday 1 October

2pm – 3.30pm
Concert 1 – Welcome Dance

6pm – 7.30pm
Food & Wine 1 – Fiesta Italiana

7.30pm – 9.30pm
Concert 2 – Notte Italiana

Monday 3 October

11am – 12.30pm
Concert 6 – Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

1pm – 2.30pm
Food & Wine 4 – Until Next Time

Saturday 1 October

Ildiko Kovacs
Opal  2004
oil on board, 210 x 210 cm

Collection Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, gift of the artist through the Commonwealth Cultural Gifts Program.

Concert 1 – Welcome Dance 2pm – 3.30pm

No better way to break the festival ice than with a party, a party full of dancing. The theme of the  opening concert is centred in dance form and structure that inspired many great works and are joyously performed from the piano. Welcome Dance will introduce the artists that will feature over the weekend, highlighting what is in store.

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Frédéric Chopin:
Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major Op.61

from Mazurkas Op.56
No.2 in B major
No.3 in C major

Waltz in A flat major Op.42

Polonaise in F# minor Op.44
(Alexander Gadjiev)

~ interval ~

Gabriel Fauré: from Masques et Bergamasques Op.112
I. Ouverture
III. Gavotte
(Stephanie McCallum & Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Claude Debussy: Petite Suite L.65
I. En bateau
II. Cortège
III. Menuet
IV. Ballet
(Stephanie McCallum & Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Maurice Ravel: La Valse for two pianos
(Calvin Abdiel & Alexander Gadjiev)


Food & Wine 1 – Fiesta Italiana 6pm – 7.30pm

As the sun sets over the rolling hills of Blackdown Farm, the night will come alive with the tastes of Italy. The olive grove will become the canvas for informal dining room as emerald leaves are illuminated with twinkling light from the stars above. The dinner service will include delicious Italian themed food with rustic bread shared between old friends and new.  Vale Creek, a Bathurst vineyard with a long Italian connection will be serving up their finest Sangiovese, Barbera and Pinot Grigio to complete the Fiesta Italiana.

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Tim Storrier
The Ladder, 1993
sythetic polymer on canvas
243.8 x 304.8 cm

Collection Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, gift of the artists through the Commonwealth Cultural Gifts Program.

Concert 2 – Notte Italiana 7.30pm – 9.30pm

A short stroll from the olive grove leads into the second concert program featuring Italian opera. The pianos become the orchestra setting the scene for an overture to a dramatic night at the opera. Celebrated transcriptions for piano conjure images of the soprano diva and the marauding baritone in the footlights, who are soon joined by one of the greatest Italian composers of symphonic music, Ottorino Respighi.

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Gioachino Rossini/Maurice Decourcelle: Ouverture: Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Eight Hands
(Piano 1 primo: Tamara Anna Cislowska secondo: Alexander Gadjive. Piano 2 primo: Stephanie McCallum secondo: Calvin Abdiel)

Domenico Scarlatti:
Sonata in D minor K.213
Sonata in A minor K.175
(Calvin Abdiel)

Ottorino Respighi: from 3 Preludes on Gregorian Melodies No.1
(Alexander Gadjiev)

~ interval ~

Alessandro Marcello/Johann Sebastian Bach: Oboe Concerto in D minor BWV 974
(Tamara Anna Cislowska & Alexander Gadjiev)

Ferruccio Busoni: from Indian Diary No.3
No.3 Andante
(Stephanie McCallum)

Johann Sebastian Bach/Ferruccio Busoni: two Chorale Preludes
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein BWV 734
(Calvin Abdiel)

Amilcare Ponchielli: Danza delle Ore dalla Gioconda for Eight Hands
(Piano 1 primo: Tamara Anna Cislowska secondo: Alexander Gadjive. Piano 2 primo: Stephanie McCallum secondo: Calvin Abdiel)

Sunday 2 October


John Coburn
African Summer, 1978
oil on canvas 197 x 151.5 cm

Collection Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, gift of Mr William Bowmore OBE.

Concert 3 – Reflective Moments 11am – 12pm

For some, Sunday is a day of reflection, for others a day of quiet relaxation and gathering oneself for the week ahead. Evoking scenes of quietness, of contemplation and of leisure the program for today’s concert meanders through music inspired from sacred themes.

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Johann Sebastian Bach: from Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd BWV 208
IX. Schafe können sicher weiden
(Tamara Anna Cislowka & Stephanie McCallum)

Olivier Messiaen: from Visions de l’Amen
No.1 Amen de la Création
(Calvin Abdiel & Alexander Gadjiev)

Frédéric Chopin: Ballade No.4 Op.54
(Alexander Gadjiev)

Carl Vine: from Five Bagatelles
V. Threnody
(Tamara Anna Cislowska & Calvin Abdiel)

Franz Liszt: from Consolations S.172 No.3
(Stephanie McCallum)

Aleksandr Scriabin: Piano Sonata No.5 Op.53
(Calvin Abdiel)

Ross Edwards: Tyalgum Mantras for Eight Hands
(Tamara Anna Cislowska, Alexander Gadjiev, Stephanie McCallum & Calvin Abdiel)

Johann Sebastian Bach: from Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben BWV 147
X. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (for 8 hands)
(Tamara Anna Cislowska, Alexander Gadjiev, Stephanie McCallum & Calvin Abdiel)



Food & Wine 2 – Long Table Lunch 12.30pm – 2pm

Spring is in full bloom and under the canopy of a white cloud of crab-apple tree blossoms, the crisp white napery of a long table lunch serves up a tantalising culinary experience. A wisp of the approaching summer drifts through on a breeze, mixed with the heady bouquet of apples, cinnamon and cloves. This is the cornerstone of the weekend’s food and wine experiences and Renzaglia vineyard will pour some of their finest for today’s long table lunch.

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Gary Carsley
D.58 and D.60 [still glides the stream and shall forever glide] Yarra Valley Park, 2007
lambda monoprint 230 x 120 cm each

Collection Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, gift of the artist through the Commonwealth Cultural Gifts Program.

Concert 4 – Dazzling Perfection 2pm – 3.30pm

Eliciting romantic aspiration of virtuosic transcendence, the afternoon concert is the festival’s tour de force. The familiar push and pull of the soloist and orchestra are pitted against one another in a fierce exposé, finding harmony and elegance in conclusion. The romantic piano concerto is the protagonist in today’s program.

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Frédéric Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2 Op.21
I. Maestoso
II. Larghetto
III. Allegro vivace
(Alexander Gadjiev accompanied by Calvin Abdiel)

~ interval ~

Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn Op.56b
I. Theme. Andante
II. Andante con moto
III. Vivace
IV. Con moto
V. Andante
VI. Poco presto
VII. Vivace
VIII. Grazioso
IX. Poco presto
X. Finale. Andante
(Stephanie McCallum Piano 1 Tamara Anna Cislowska Piano 2)

Franz Liszt/Wolfgang A. Mozart
Réminiscences de Don Juan (S. 418)
(Calvin Abdiel)


Food & Wine 3 – The Rose Garden 6pm – 7pm

Soft pastels jar against blocks of vivid bold, their visual stimulation intertwined only by their sweet and delicate fragrance. The rose garden becomes the striking stage for a cocktail party. The abundance of blooms is matched only by an abundance of canapés to satisfy the pangs of dinnertime. Refreshing cocktails make for the perfect complement to an impressionist’s palette.

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David Wilson
Wind and water, 1998
oil on canvas
152 x 214

Collection of Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, purchase.

Concert 5 – La Sérénade 7pm – 8pm

A simple and elegant musical offering is served up next, taking inspiration from Debussy and his connection and adulation with nature. An intertwined narrative of modern contemplativeness provokes thought to where Debussy’s musical path may have taken in future years. A harmonious nightcap filling the evening air with colourful space and silence that can only be captured so elegantly by the music of Debussy.

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Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 1
No.5 Les collines d’Anacapri
(Calvin Abdiel)
Erik Satie: from Gnossiennes
No.2. Avec étonnement
(Stephanie McCallum)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 1
No.9 La sérénade interrompue
(Calvin Abdiel)
Charles Koechlin: from Les Heures Persances Op.65
No.5 En vue de la ville
(Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 1
No.12 Minstrels
(Calvin Abdiel)
Sam Wu: Tiny Forests (world premiere)
(Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 2
No.12 Feux d’artifice
(Calvin Abdiel)
Aristea Mellos: Prelude No.1: A ghostly finger writes forgotten words (in the dust on the piano)
(Stephanie McCallum)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 1
No.6 Des pas sur la neige
(Alexander Gadjiev)
Erik Satie: from Gnossiennes
No.4 Lent
(Stephanie McCallum)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 2
No.2 Feuilles mortes
(Alexander Gadjiev)
Elena Kats-Chernin: from Unsent Love Letters
No.2 Unsent Love Letters: a Musical Meditation on Erik Satie
(Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 2
No.8 Ondine
(Alexander Gadjiev)
Erik Satie: from Gnossiennes
No.5 Modéré
(Stephanie McCallum)

Claude Debussy: from Préludes Book 2
No.4 Les Fées sont d’exquises danseuses
(Alexander Gadjiev)
Arvo Pärt: Für Alina
(Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Monday 3 October


Mandy Martin
Lake Leaghur looking due West, 1993
oil on linen 153 x 275 cm

Collection Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, purchase.

Concert 6 – Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye 11am – 12.30pm

And just like that, the weekend arrives at its conclusion. Three days of reconnecting with old acquaintances and forging new friendships, sharing music and sharing food and wine. The festival artists join with multiple hands to create a concert that will stay with you much longer than your drive home. A farewell, but just for now.

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Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche Suite for Two Pianos
I. Vif
II. Modéré
III. Brazileira
(Tamara Anna Cislowska & Stephanie McCallum)

George Gershwin/Percy Grainger: Porgy and Bess Fantasy
(Alexander Gadjiev & Tamara Anna Cislowska)

~ interval ~

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Two Pieces for Six Hands
I. Waltz
II. Romance
(Tamara Anna Cislowska, Calvin Abdiel & Alexander Gadjiev)

Francis Poulenc: Sonata for Four Hands
I. Prelude
II. Rustique
III. Final
(Stephanie McCallum & Tamara Anna Cislowska)

Camille Saint Saëns/Franz Liszt: Danse macabre for Eight Hands
(Piano 1 primo: Stephanie McCallum secondo: Alexander Gadjive. Piano 2 primo: Tamara Anna Cislowska secondo: Calvin Abdiel)


Food & Wine 4 – Until Next Time 1pm – 2.30pm

By now the stilettos are well worn into the earth, the connection with the beauty and expanse of Blackdown Farm is entrenched and the satisfaction of a full weekend is achieved. It is now time for one final hurrah in the quintessential Aussie farm shed, adorned with hay bales and everything that brings the relaxation of the country. Rock Forest Vineyard will serve their relaxed Chardonnay and Shiraz and perhaps a cheeky Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the rustic farewell lunch.

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Travel and Accommodation

Organised Tour

Long time travel partners of The Sydney, Renaissance Tours have put together a special tour package which takes all the hassle out of planning your travel and comes with some special value-add options, including an exclusive welcome dinner with all the artists of Out West Piano Fest. The tour leader will be Phillip Sametz. For further information and bookings visit their website or phone 1300 727 095.

Preferred Hotel

If independent travel is your preferred avenue then we have teamed up with Rydges Mt Panorama to provide Out West Piano Fest guests the most comfortable accommodation to be found in Bathurst. In addition, Rydges Mt Panorama is offering 10% off the best available rate for the festival weekend. To book simply click here.

Local Tourism

The Bathurst Tourism centre has also partnered with Out West Piano Fest to ensure that all guests have a wonderful visit to the region. If you are coming a few days earlier, or staying a few days after the festival the Bathurst Tourism Centre is your first stop. Their resources include alternate accommodation for the festival from Bed & Breakfast to Motels & Hotels. Check them out here and their most comprehensive guides to what’s happening and things to do here.

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About Blackdown Farm

Blackdown Farm is home to the Out West Piano Fest and is regarded as one of NSW’s most significant properties and one of the finest examples of Australian Heritage Architecture. The homestead is surrounded by 17 acres of beautifully maintained gardens and fields.

It dates back to April 1822 when Thomas Hawkins, a naval officer and pioneer settler, was appointed the commissarial storekeeper at Bathurst, travelling from Sydney to Bathurst selecting a 2000-acre land parcel which he called Blackdown. Accompanied by his wife, seven children and nine convicts, the original homestead was built by Hawkins in 1823-1824 and it remains part of the main homestead residence today. Additional outbuildings were constructed over time, including a mill, stables, coach house and servants’ quarters.

In approximately 1836, Blackdown became the site of the first vineyard west of the Blue Mountains and around the same time, many of the trees were planted, including the entrance avenue of English elms and Atlantic cedars. Over the course of time, with different owners the gardens were expanded.

In 1989 the owners at the time undertook a major restoration of the homestead, returning Blackdown to its near original condition, and planned and laid out the extensive Georgian gardens. The most recent restoration of the property was in 2008 by renowned architects Clive Lucas Stapleton and Partners of Sydney when it was owned by Australian artist Tim Storrier. The cavernous artist studio will be the sole venue for all concerts in the Out West Piano Fest.

One of the most beautiful features of Blackdown is the extensive gardens within 17 hectares of planted and maintained parkland. The Out Fest Piano Fest will stage a long table lunch under the crab-apple tree walkway linking the homestead to the in-ground pool and clay tennis court. The organic vegetable garden is filled with raspberries, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus and rhubarb and adjoined by a fruit orchard with a mix of seasonal fruit, including apricots, nectarines, quince and feijoa. The olive grove of almost 650 mature olive trees will provide another outdoor stage for the Out Fest Piano Fest.

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Visual Arts Program

A special partnership with the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery will see six extraordinary works from the gallery’s permanent collection moved and hung on the walls of the performance space at Blackdown Farm. Illustrating relationships between the music program and the artworks, Gallery Director Sarah Gurich has curated a suite of works from artists that have a connection to place in the Central West. Of note is the astonishing work of Tim Storrier, bringing that work back to the location in which it was conceived. While bathed in sound during the concerts the artworks will give quiet introspective narrative from their vantage points around the performance space.

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Sarah Gurich

Sarah Gurich was appointed to the position of Director of Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) in April 2018. Previous to her appointment, Sarah has worked in a number of roles in the regional gallery sector, including Curator at BRAG, and inaugural Exhibitions Manager at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre where she oversaw development of the new City Art Gallery.

Sponsors and Partners

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